Managing internal mobility: Benefits and practical tips

Internal mobility can bring many benefits to organizations, including increased engagement and productivity from employees, and improved recruitment and retention rates. However, managing internal mobility effectively can be challenging, particularly in large organizations. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of internal mobility, and provide some practical tips on how to manage it effectively.

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Different types of internal mobility

When it comes to internal mobility, organizations often think of two things: relocating employees to different parts of the country (or world) or offering promotions to employees who have been with the organization for a long time. There is much more to internal mobility than that. Internal mobility can be defined as any movement of employees within an organization, regardless of location or position. This can include lateral moves, promotions, rotations and transfers.

Benefits of internal mobility

There are many reasons why organizations should invest in internal mobility.

1. Retain talent

For one, it is a great way to retain talent. If employees feel like they are stuck in a dead-end job, they will be more likely to look for opportunities elsewhere. But if they know that there are opportunities for growth and development within the organization, they will be more likely to stay.

Additionally, you already know your employees and their strengths and weaknesses. While they are already familiar with the company's processes and procedures and usually also have a good network.

2. Attract top talent

Internal mobility can also help organizations to attract top talent. Candidates are more likely to accept a job offer from a company that offers opportunities for internal mobility.

3. Develop talent

By giving employees the opportunity to try new things and learn new skills, organizations can develop a more well-rounded and skilled workforce.

4. Save recruitment costs

You have probably already noticed it yourself: looking for new talent is not only time-consuming, but also expensive. The costs of external recruitment can quickly amount to a five-figure sum - and that for just one new employee. Of course, setting up an internal mobility plan also costs something, but that is a long-term investment and disproportionate to the cost of external recruitment.

5. Strengthen employee engagement

Employees will be more committed to an employer who values their development and offers growth opportunities. When employees are given the opportunity to move around within the organization, it can boost morale and engagement. This will lead to lower absenteeism and less turnover.

6. Increase talent fluidity

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, organizations need to be able to adapt quickly. Internal mobility can help organizations to be more agile and responsive to change, in order to optimize talent fluidity.

7. Improve succession planning and organizational resilience

Internal mobility can also help organizations to improve their succession planning. By identifying high-potential employees and giving them the opportunity to try different roles, organizations can ensure that they have a pool of talent to draw from when vacancies arise. This will also make the organization more resilient to change.

Setting up an internal mobility programme

There are a few things organizations can do to make sure their internal mobility programmes are successful.

1. Define the goals of the programme

Before launching an internal mobility programme, organizations need to define what they want to achieve with the programme. Do they want to retain talent? Develop talent? Attract top talent? Save on recruitment costs? Once the goals are clear, it will be easier to develop a programme that meets those goals.

2. Communicate the programme

Organizations need to make sure that employees are aware of the internal mobility programme and what it entails. They should also communicate how the programme will benefit both the organization and the employees.

3. Make it easy for employees to move

The process of moving employees around should be as simple and streamlined as possible. Employees should be able to easily find openings that match their skills and interests. The application process should be straightforward, and there should be clear guidelines on how decisions will be made.

4. Provide support

Employees who are considering a move within the organization will need support. They will need help understanding the process and what is expected of them. They will also need guidance on how to make the most of the opportunity.

5. Be flexible

Organizations should be flexible when it comes to internal mobility. Employees may need to move around a few times before they find the right fit. And they may need to try different roles before they find one that suits their skills and interests.

6. Evaluate the programme

Once the programme has been up and running for a while, organisations should take the time to evaluate its effectiveness.

  • Are employees taking advantage of the programme?
  • Are they finding it beneficial?
  • Are the goals of the programme being met?

Things to take-away

  • By definition, internal mobility is the process of moving employees around within the organization. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to retain talent, develop talent, or save on recruitment costs.
  • There are a few things organizations can do to make sure their internal mobility programmes are successful, such as defining the goals of the programme, communicating the programme, making it easy for employees to move, and providing support.
  • Evaluation is also important to ensure that the goals of the programme are being met.

About me

Hi, I’m Lilian. I’m currently the head of a design team in a digital agency in Amsterdam and love to write about leadership and share tips based on my experience over the past couple of years.

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